This is a Green-barred Woodpecker, common and widespread throughout South America to the south of the Amazon River and to the east of the Andes. In the southern part of their range, they sport a golden yellow on breast and belly. This form is thought to be a different species and the name Golden-bellied Woodpecker has been adopted by some. The male wears the red malar with the female preferring the slimming qualities of black.

Green-barred Woodpeckers

The individuals in this gallery were found at Reserva Ecologica Costanera Sur in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It struck me that they looked very similar in structure to a Flicker. When I came across a pair on the ground feeding from an ants’ nest, I was prompted to look more closely.

On checking the latin name, Colaptes melanochloris, it became clear that the relationship was obviously already recognised by the taxonomists.

The accepted popular name may be woodpecker, but like so many birds, it has a few pet names used by those who are familiar with the species. The title Green-barred Flicker seems like a reasonable compromise, though the green bars are not an arresting feature.

Considering its preferred habitat, there was a proposal that they be included in a family known as “forest flickers” using the generic Chrysoptilus.

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Written by Redgannet
Redgannet has been working for over 33 years as a crew member/flight attendant and enjoys the well-ventilated air of the outdoors. The nom de blog, Redgannet, was adopted to add an air of mystery and to make himself more attractive to women. His father first whetted Redguga's appetite for all things natural by buying him his first pair of 7x35s and a copy of Thorburn's Birds. Having no mentor beyond an indulgent parent, he spent the first season hoping for an Egyptian Vulture at the bird table in his English garden. His most memorable birding moment is seeing an Egyptian Vulture with those same binoculars 26 years later. Redgannet is married to Canon, but his heart and half of his house belongs to Helen and their son Joseph. He is looking forward to communicating with people who don't ask if he is searching for the "feathered variety" of bird.